Export demand pushes cull cow prices to a five year high
Export demand adding 30c/kg
Strong export demand for manufacturing beef has boosted cull cow prices to a five year high.
Year on year the prices have surged by 30c/kg, while the supply of cows to the factories hit an 18-year high last year.
Prices have continued to surge upwards into 2018 as during the first full week trading in February figures show individual factories have paid up to 385c/kg for U grade cows.
A buoyant cull cow trade in the marts has seen feeders pay over €1,000/hd for good quality Friesian stock.
Joe Burke of Bord Bia said the high cow prices confirmed the strength of the manufacturing beef market.
The vast majority of cow beef goes for burgers and mince, with sales generally less susceptible to the seasonal highs and lows which impact on demand for the higher value steak cuts.
Mr Burke said the stewing beef market in Holland and other northern European countries was another important outlet for cow beef, with the recent cold snap across Europe helping sales on this front.
Mart managers maintain that nice dairy cows weighing around 630-650kg are freely making €950-1,000/hd.